Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Re-Churching: Tension


I think life, or maybe my life in particular, is a life of Tension. My thing about comfort in discomfort is under this idea of tension, for example. Comfort disturbs me a little; I am more comfortable in discomfort, for the most part.

While I go through this… maturing of spirit, of my relationship with Jesus, I’m having to… give up… things of this world. Growing in faith has been wonderful each time it happens, too wonderful for me to express.

Yet on the other side are all the things I used to do, all the things I used to be. On the other side are all the people who won’t understand what is happening with me and won’t be okay with this change in me.

It’s scary. I’m not… entirely comfortable with this particular discomfort. I haven’t been through this before, having to give up something.... I don’t know what’s coming, or what/ who will be left behind of their own choices. I have no control over any of it.

Matthew 16: 24- 25 (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

The interesting thing is that as one denies one’s self, to become more Christ-like, one becomes more one’s self than before. “Denying” myself doesn’t mean that I am “emptied” of who I am. I am still me, but I am finding that I am a better me than I was before. I am more myself around others, I think. Denying myself, I put Christ at the core of my life, so that His ways start becoming my ways as I follow Him.

I still get to be Jennifer.

And more so, because whatever I have learned, whatever I have gone through, positive and negative, God is able to use in order to reach or encourage others. My limited human vocabulary and understanding says “God is able” in this context to mean that I open myself up to being used for His purposes. This is what I have recognized in other Christians in my life as well. I may have to flesh this out a little more and right another post (puts it on the tribble Write List).

The thing I wanted to say was… I think I may have lost something I came to really want. I think I may have lost it forever, or at least for this life on earth. I feel… helpless about it. I should have said this. I should have done that. I should have taken that opportunity to… what? To do what? Nothing seems to work. Nothing I do has an impact, nothing is getting me closer. I have nothing left for this.

Have you ever felt that way? Do you know what I’m talking about?

Still, I shall trust in the Lord and I have hope.

Romans 5: 3-5
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Psalms 31: 24
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

I lived a lot of my life not wanting much, I mean truly, deeply wanting. It’s like the first part of my life, I didn’t know what it was to want and I didn’t know what I ought to want. When my needs are met, anything else is just extra blessing and I wanted for… not much, apparently.

The next part of life, I didn’t want because I didn’t care about me. What I had known to be true for my life got rocked negatively and I wandered. Thank God, I didn’t spiral out of control as much as I could have; people who know me in person probably think I was just… normal, maybe just a lot more serious and less humored.

It’s taken me quite a while to regain myself. I’m regaining myself through my faith, as I deny myself. Strange, right?

I don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things! Maybe God’s saying “no,” or maybe he’s saying “not now.”

I simply say like Job, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” [Job 42: 1-6] http://bible.com/114/job.42.1-6.nkjv I await the day that the Lord restores the losses. [Job 42: 10] http://bible.com/114/job.42.10.nkjv I don’t and can’t say in what manners, in what ways, or when. I just know that He ultimately will, and I am glad.

Still, I do mourn the losses. It may be some time for me….

At the same time, I shall carry on.

Aren't you glad I still get to be me?
Being a Christian, in my opinion, isn’t about deluding myself for a sense of comfort or a crutch. It’s brought me a lot of tension over the years, especially in times when I moved closer to God. It’s easy and it’s difficult. It’s joyful while sorrowful. It’s been solitary in community (for me). It is comfort in the discomfort, because it tells me something is happening. I’ve found strength in weakness, growth through darkness.

I might be crazy. I just might be. It’s okay if you think that.

Not all Christian journeys are like mine. My testimony is fairly tame and slow-going; these Re-Churching posts are a part of it. I’m going to share what I can in the way that I can.

So thank you for visiting, and may you be blessed.

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